22.07.2020

Outgoing Agent Calls: The Ideal Volume to Aim For

How to monitor an agent’s outbound calls in a call center and calculate how many calls they should make?

Outgoing Agent Calls: The Ideal Volume to Aim For

There are various perspectives on what level of productivity a contact centre manager should expect from their agents. Specifically, the volume of outbound calls an agent will actually make. Experience tells us that there appears to be a general rule applicable to outbound calls by an agent. It looks something like this: on average, an agent can engage with customers for about 33 to 40 minutes of every productive hour. In other words, the percentage of time an agent spends talking to a customer ranges from 55% to 66%. This implies that the remaining time will be spent either waiting for the next call distributed by the dialler (the better the dialler is optimised, the quicker the call will come in) or working with the data or the agent will simply be unavailable. In the simplest case, you could divide the duration of the agent’s calls by the average duration of each call. This calculates the number of calls an agent can make in a day. But there are several factors that additionally affect this number. It’s also important to remember that the number of conversations cannot replace service quality.

Important factors for evaluation

It’s necessary to consider parameters such as:

1. Quality and volume of subscribers in the loaded database

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If the quality of your number database is not high enough, then the agents will have to make a large number of calls but they will be short. This is because there are no contacts of decision-makers in the system, which effectively means – these calls are simply a mistake.

 
h3>2. Average call duration/h3>
 

You should calculate and control the optimal call duration. Also, you need to take into account that the talk time with non-decision-making employees and with persons who have such authority will be different. This will allow you to develop a ratio, for example, 5 short calls to 1 conversation with a decision maker. You should use working time in such a ratio, instead of trying to work with averaged indicators. You also need to calculate the call duration according to the type of calls made. That is, service, survey, or communication with a contact person responsible for sales or procurement.

 
h3>3. Dialer speed/h3>
 

The settings of the dialer also affect the time during which the agent is available and waiting for his next call – the number of lines per agent, the proportion of dropped calls, the duration of the call – all these parameters affect the result.

 

4. Work Environment in the Call Centre

Just as with an inbound call centre, agents are under the influence of the working environment. The noise in the room may prolong the conversation as agents have to speak slower and louder. Complex conditions associated with stressful situations may lead to employees having longer conversations and taking longer breaks between calls before returning to ‘Available’ status.

Create the right KPIs

All of this is very crucial in determining the standard and key performance indicators (KPI) for outbound calls. Once these have been defined, a rather lengthy (e.g., two-week) test period will be required. It will help identify trends in:

  • data quality and its usage,
  • average talk time,
  • agent behavior concerning their return to readiness status.

These results will allow you to create the right KPIs together with agents or a team of managers, and if you are an outsourcer, you can align them with clients. Source: callcentre helper, translation: Oki-Toki

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